Dziewa not worried


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Josh Dziewa has lost the last two matches he has wrestled: The Iowa 141-pounder dropped a 3-2 decision to Michigan’s Steve Dutton, who is ranked in InterMat’s top 10, on Feb. 9, and the Yardley, Pa., native lost, 5-3, to Laike Gardner less than a week later, on Feb. 14, during his team’s 31-6 win over Lehigh.

But the junior isn’t worried that he has failed to wrestle at the highest level he is capable of in the last two duals.

“I wouldn’t say ‘worried’ is the right word; if you look at the matches, they were similar,” Dziewa said. “There was a common denominator on the bottom, and I have to fix it.”

And with one dual left before the postseason begins, Dziewa has an opportunity to fix the problem, but those two losses — particularly to Dutton — could make a difference once seeds are released for the Big Ten Tournament.

As we explained in this week’s edition of DITV’s Matside webisode, Penn State’s Zain Retherford and Ohio State’s Logan Stieber virtually have locked up the top-two seeds in the tournament — which will begin on March 8 in Madison, Wis. In no particular order, Chris Dardanes of Minnesota, Dutton, and Dziewa will presumably fill spots 3, 4, and 5.

Dziewa has one more shot on Feb. 23 against Wisconsin to improve his draw in the tournament.

“I would say there’s clearly something wrong, and it’s time to fix it,” he said.

National Duals reactions

The National Duals were held on Sunday and Monday in Columbus, Ohio. Minnesota topped Cornell, 24-15. There has been an air of controversy surrounding the tournament, and after competing in the event last season, Iowa was absent from this year’s edition.

Head coach Tom Brands was short when speaking about the event at Iowa’s wrestling media availability on Tuesday.

“You follow it because it’s your competition, we saw the Minnesota-Cornell dual, we saw the Minnesota-Ohio State semifinal so you pay attention just like you pay attention every week to relevant competition and relevant results,” Brands said.

Iowa 133-pounder Tony Ramos echoed the statements of his head coach but also said he was glad the nation’s second-ranked team didn’t attend.

“I feel like the people who run the National Duals, or are heads of the National Duals, are a little bit political, maybe a nicer way to say it,” Ramos, a senior, said. “I’m not too big of a fan of it.”

125 in the postseason

Iowa wrestling fans know Brands and his coaching staff have a good problem on their hands this season. Throughout the season, Thomas Gilman and Cory Clark have traded the starting spot at 125 back-and-forth, and Brands only has one more dual before deciding who to wrestle at the Big Ten tournament.

The eighth-year head coach compared the situation with the decision he made at 184 pounds last season. Ethen Lofthouse and Grant Gambrall had a wrestle off to determine the situation.

Brands said a decision hasn’t been made in terms of a wrestle-off, saying it may not be the way to make the decision.

“[It is] not easy to do; you have two really good guys there, both guys are doing it,” Brands said. “Both guys are the top four in the country, if not the best guy in the country, I believe that. So we’ll pick one and go.”

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